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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Hospice at Home West Cumbria chairman steps down

After six years at the helm of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Terry Collins has stood down as chairman.

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STEPPING DOWN: Terry Collins, chairman of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, with his wife Rosemary

Dr Collins, 70, of Crosby, was already a trustee of the charity when he was asked to step in temporarily in 2007 to replace Margaret Dowling.

He stepped down at the hospice’s annual general meeting this month.

Dr Collins, who was a GP in Maryport for 30 years, said: “I didn’t expect to be chairman for as long as I have been. It has been an honour to serve as chairman and see the significant development of the organisation.

“I must thank everyone who has supported hospice, and me, during this time. It has been a particular privilege to work with such caring staff that always do so much more than they should to sustain the charity.”

He has steered the hospice, which offers support to people with life-limiting illnesses, their families and carers, through expansion and restructuring.

Dr Collins said working as a GP he was aware of hospice and worked closely with the charity and was honoured to be asked to be a trustee in 2004.

Its development under Dr Collins’s guidance as chairman has seen the charity grow, offering more palliative care than ever before and starting new services for its patients and their loved ones – from bereavement counselling to clinics for people suffering from lymphoedema.

Although it receives some funding from the NHS, it relies on donations and fund-raising to pay for its services.

He said: “There has been so much development within the organisation – we’ve moved from a small charity to a medium-sized one and that means more responsibility.

“There is so much to be proud of and it is a credit to everyone who is involved in the hospice.”

He added he was also proud of the hospice’s latest project, to turn the former Derwent Bookshop in Finkle Street, Workington, into a new centre.

It will bring together the hospice in a convenient single location and will complement its palliative care at home service, which will continue.

It will also offer family and bereavement support including one-to-one counselling, group support, Reiki massage and other complementary therapies.

There will be a lymphoedema clinic and a large meeting room used to train staff and volunteers.

The Workington hospice shop will also be part of the centre.

Dr Collins said: “Work has started on the centre and I felt it was an appropriate time to stand down and let someone else take over for the new chapter of the hospice. I will continue as a trustee, but will take a step back.

“There are major challenges ahead but I know my successor can rely on continuing dedication and support from everyone.”

Dr Rob Walker, who was a Workington GP for more than 17 years, is the new chairman.

Dr Walker, who has been a trustee for three years, said: “I am honoured to be taking up the post of chairman having held the organisation in high esteem for many years.

“I hope that the organisations reputation and pedigree will continue to be of such a high ideal and that we can grow and develop a very successful future for hospice and keep delivering the care and support needed across West Cumbria.”

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